Michael Parks is a high-grade pipe maker from Canada, and fits the stereotype of a very friendly, kind, and generous person. He's been crafting pipes for about a decade, and gained a lot of attention early on, not only making terrific classic designs, but by bringing new life back to old designs inspired by Charatan mixed with his own aesthetic and extra level of craftsmanship. Producing not only large, voluptuous pipes, many of his creations can border fragility in either their individual weight, or nearly unheard of attention to detail, be they multi-faceted or enrobed with ribbons of briar. He is one of the few artisans that a collector might strongly consider never letting a certain creation come anywhere near flame. Boxed sets, amazing sculptures, and mirror finishes are a few of the things this man approaches with confidence.
Michael does not make a large number of pipes each year, but he does bring extra-high level to each one that is made. Working with solid vulcanite or acrylic rod for stems, he crafts mouthpieces to as high a degree as he does bowls. Hand picking much of his briar blocks, his pipes end up smooth, elegantly and ruggedly blasted, or delicately rusticated. One may also find horn, bamboo, or other exotic materials to accent the pieces. On Michael's best pipes, the stems have an ornate inlay consisting of pieces of abalone shell. Courtesy SmokingPipes.com
From Michael's website: A Synopsis - of who I am and what I do:
My name is Michael Parks and I am an avid outdoorsman.
Predominantly I am a Virginia Leaf smoker, specifically Red Virginia Ribbon.
Regarding the craft of pipemaking I have a particular interest in utilizing exotic materials like Fossilized Mammoth Tusk, Bog Oak(Morta), Mokume or Amber, for example. Often my work explores new artistic progressions that unify natural, architectural and antique elements.
On the other hand, however, I also have a deep appreciation for and enjoy creating English 'Classic' pipes. These designs require a focus on balance and symmetry that is refreshing.
Producing fine craft and your appreciation of it is rewarding, and this is what compels me to make tobacco pipes.
Off Site Links
- Brian Levine's interview with Michael on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show
- A blog post about Michael visiting with pipemaker, Adam Davidsion at Smokingpipes.com
Parks Pipes Michael Parks 41 Temperance Street PO Box 314, Station Main Bowmanville, Ontario, L1C 3L1 Canada Website: http://www.parkspipes.com/ Email: mailto:Michael@ParksPipes.com Phone: 905.244.0591